New to Clay Pigeon Shooting

A few words about clay pigeon shooting

Shooting is an exciting and absorbing activity and a visit to Bolton Gun Club: clay shoot gives you the opportunity to try clay pigeon shooting. As a club, part of our role is to introduce people to the sport and give them the opportunity to try this very challenging and rewarding sport. Whether you are a 'first timer' or you have already had a certain amount of experience, our coaches can help you on your way.

Great Britain has an excellent track record of international shooting success, whether at an Olympic, Commonwealth or European level. But the best thing about shooting is that it is inclusive sport - and a great leveller! Across the country, individuals from all walks of life enjoy a safe and exciting hobby that can be extremely rewarding.

Shooting is also one of the few sports that offers a genuine opportunity for sportsmen and women to compete on an equal footing; add juniors into the equation and clay shooting becomes a true family challenge at the weekend.

Would you like to give it a try?

Clay pigeon shooting is an outdoor sport, so make sure you are dressed appropriately and wearing comfortable footwear. As a general rule avoid bulky or loose fitting jackets, as these make it more difficult for you to easily move the stock of the gun comfortably into your shoulder. A hat or cap is advisable as you are shooting outdoors and there is the chance of rain and the odd piece of broken clay.

When you arrive at our clubhouse, check in and make yourself known. You will be asked to sign in to comply with Section 21 of The Firearms Act. Please note that no one under the age of 16 will be allowed to register or shoot without a parent or guardian present. Your coach will be introduced to you, and he or she may wish to put you into a squad together with 2 or 3 other shooters of similar experience so that you can all shoot together.

You will be given a safety briefing. Listen carefully and follow the instructions. Your safety is our main priority. Shooting is a very safe sport precisely because shooters pay great attention to safe gun handling at all times: a few basic safety rules ensures the safety of all participants. Whenever you are shooting clay pigeons, there is always a very small risk from fragments of broken target, while repeated exposure to the sound of gunshots is quite capable of damaging your hearing. So please wear the offered eye or ear protection to reduce these risks, at all times when on the shooting range.

A selection of hot and cold snacks and drinks will be available for you to purchase or feel free to bring your own picnic, but remember that alcohol and shooting do not mix, and that alcoholic drinks may not be consumed until after you have finished shooting.

Common questions

Do I need to pay extra for equipment and ammo?

There is no need to buy ammunition - it will be included in the fee for your shooting session. The use of our equipment and the actual tuition is given freely. Most of our members started in exactly the same position you are in and both time and equipment was provided for them. As such Bolton Gun Club members are happy to carry on this tradition, and in 2010 Bolton Gun Club was awarded “Shooting Club of the Year 2010” by The Countryside Alliance in recognition of our efforts to attract new shooters into the fold and the methods we use.

Will it hurt?

That is a question which many newcomers to shooting, especially with cartridge weapons such as shotguns, will often ask. Whenever a gun is fired there is recoil (Newton’s 3rd Law) which is transmitted to the shoulder through the stock of the gun. However, with the gun and cartridge combinations used in training, the recoil is easily controlled. Your coach will make sure that the stock of the gun is tucked tightly into your shoulder. That way, you are unlikely to notice the recoil when you fire a shot & see the clay shatter!

Do I need to hold a Firearms or Shotgun Certificate?

Experienced shooters will normally hold a shotgun or firearm certificate from the police, but the law allows those who do not hold a certificate to use a shotgun at an approved shooting ground, and under appropriate supervision.

I Loved it, what next?

We hope very much that you will enjoy your visit. If you want to shoot again, speak to your coach or to one of the members of the club and they will be delighted to help you. We can provide a course of tuition for new shooters. And if you are serious about taking up the sport, then why not think about applying to the police for your own certificate? So, head on the stock, eyes on the clay & go for broke!